yconic - Why I chose Waterloo over Queen's or Ivey.
Hide Menu

My Feed Money for School Student Help Brands Winners Support Center



Explore yconic
Explore Student Life Topics
Scotiabank
STUDENT CHAMPION
yconic proudly recognizes Student Champion Partners who are providing our community with superior support for their student journeys. Learn More
Student Help Brands

Why I chose Waterloo over Queen's or Ivey.

A photo of tobywashere tobywashere
Firstly, I want to be an investment banker or work in private equities on Wall Street. I have no special connections nor a lot of money; all I have is ambition. I chose to enroll in the Computing and Financial Management program at Waterloo. Now why would I choose Waterloo over Queen's or Ivey? Am I crazy? Here's why I made this choice:
I'm planning on applying to Harvard, Wharton, or Stanford MBA 2 years after undergrad. I have the GMAT scores and GPA to pull it off. Quite frankly, an MBA from any of those schools is ten times better than a degree from Queen's or Ivey for Wall Street. BB's recruit at Tuck, Sloan, Yale, like moths to a flame.
Since I'm going to get an MBA anyway, I don't need to waste my time at Western or Queen's. I want to learn technical skills during my undergrad. Believe it or not, technical skills, such as math or computer science, are valued on Wall Street. You'd be surprised at the number of engineers and physicists that Wall Street recruits. 1/3 of MIT grads go to the finance sector. People with math and finance skills on Wall Street are called "Quants" and they make a jaw-dropping salary. Quant skills will make you stand out from the typical business school grad. The problem with Ivey or QC is, all they teach is "soft" business skills and there's very little focus on math, engineering, or science. The course load is extremely easy and Queen's and Ivey are more like four year parties. I believe no success comes without hard work. I'll learn the "soft" skills (leadership, communcation) during MBA or during my work experiences. Soft skills are better learnt after one has already had work experience. Don't get me wrong, soft skills are very important. It's just that I'd rather learn something solid during undergrad.
Everyone knows that the best math/science university in Canada is Waterloo. That's why I picked it.
By the way, I also applied to Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth, and Upenn. If I get into any of those (probably not), then I'm ditching Canada.
This logic also applies to those of you aspiring to Bay Street.
Was this helpful? Yes 0
28 replies
 
A photo of dreamswharton dreamswharton
Let me know if you get into any of those ivy league MBA's.

Here is the thing dude, your plan is smart. But you're a bit confused. Queen's Commerce and Ivey are the best business schools in Canada, and they don't teach you "soft" business skills. Ivey's case method preps you for real business skills, because you talk in class and present your ideas. One of the most important business skills is to communicate effectively and Ivey gives you an excellent foundation. The course.. load is not easy. That's what makes me laugh, how can you say that if you don't even go there? Don't underestimate Queen's or Ivey because they will teach you way more than what you're learning at Waterloo's CFM.

Here is where I agree with you, if you want to get an MBA then I wouldn't really consider going to such expensive schools like Ivey or Queen's. You're going to have spend a lot of money on your Ivy league MBA and so if your GMAT scores and GPA are up there, then you should start saving money. A Queen's and HBA undergrad would cost you approximately 90-110K considering one is a out of town student which most are.

However, if you are confident that you will do really well in Queen's Comm and HBA and you actually DO well then a Queen's Comm or Ivey HBA is completely worth it. To land a job in Wall Street you have to do really well and finish at the top 5-10% of your class. Then getting a MBA might not be worth it because you'll already have a WallStreet job by the age of 21.

Consider Rob Davis from Ivey who is now working at Goldmansachs NY or Andrew IU from Queen's Comm who will start at Goldmansachs NY as well after he graduates this year. They're pretty much starting their jobs at the age of 21-22. Do you think sticking around and getting an expensive MBA and finishing when you're like 25 is worth it? Or is it better to go to an excellent business school, do really well, get a placement at Wallstreet, work there for whatever firm it is and do a part time MBA at a prestigious Ivy league school?

You're going to be wayyy more ahead that way. However, I wish you the best and seriously let me know if you get in.
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx
hold on hold on.


@dreamswharton wrote
Let me know if you get into any of those ivy league MBA's.

Here is the thing dude, your plan is smart. But you're a bit confused. Queen's Commerce and Ivey are the best business schools in Canada, and they don't teach you "soft" business skills. Ivey's case method preps you for real business skills, because you talk in class and present your ideas. One of the most important business skills is to communicate effectively and Ivey gives you an excellent foundation. The course.. load is not easy. That's what makes me laugh, how can you say that if you don't even go there? Don't underestimate Queen's or Ivey because they will teach you way more than what you're learning at Waterloo's CFM.






Aren't the skills you just replied with just "soft skills". When we say technical skills we don't mean anything related to how can argue cases or be a leader (Not saying that its not important). But like it really depends on where you're at and where you want to be as well as how you want to get there. It's true that Ivey and Queens feeds iBanks and many of them can go places like Goldman Sachs or w/e. Hard skills are important especially if you are second-gen. What makes the REAL finance world run are the people with technical skills, the modeling etc.

There are two sides to it, you could do math, comp sci, .. skills that are valued by bay st. and wall st. or you could do ivey and queens, places that bay+wall st. like as well. Personally, I would go through Waterloo because you go more into the analyst side, quants, etc. stuff you can't really do from Ivey or Queens.
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of exhibit exhibit
Quants don't get MBA's but okay kid, do what you want.
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of tobywashere tobywashere
Ok let's say I go to queen's or ivey. I spend four years learning about finance and business soft skills. I land a wall street job. Then I go for my Harvard MBA. MBA is basically a repeat of my undergrad. After I get my MBA degree, my Queen's or Ivey degree would seem like a joke. I go for a better wall street job. Ibankers last about 10 years max, I retire and my career is done.
Now let's say I go to Waterloo, and learn some finance and some computer science. I do coop and gain 2 years of pratical experience in the finance industry before I graduate. I also pay for my own schooling through coop. I know on-campus recruiting sucks for waterloo, so I land a less stellar job for the two interim years after graduating and before MBA (working towards my CFA designation, so I don't waste time). Then I go to Havard MBA, and get all the best Wall Street Jobs anyways. The difference here is, I now know computer science. So I have a backup career. If ibanking or PE doesn't work out, or I burn out after 10 years of trading, I can get a phD in computer science and head back to Wall Street as a quant. And quants make a respectable salary.
My point is, studying business in undergrad is a bit waste. Harvard, Yale, and Princeton don't even have an undergrad business school. Save the business and the soft skills for the MBA. Learn something useful, practical, and technical in undergrad. To be honest, very few people get far in life with just soft skills.
Btw, Wall Street and MBA schools love math/physics/computer science grads.
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of exhibit exhibit

@tobywashere wrote
I land a less stellar job for the two interim years after graduating and before MBA


Sh!tty work experience --> HBS

Orly?
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of exhibit exhibit
What did you get on the SAT?
Include section scores
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of Illuminar Illuminar

@tobywashere wrote
Ok let's say I go to queen's or ivey. I spend four years learning about finance and business soft skills. I land a wall street job. Then I go for my Harvard MBA. MBA is basically a repeat of my undergrad. After I get my MBA degree, my Queen's or Ivey degree would seem like a joke. I go for a better wall street job. Ibankers last about 10 years max, I retire and my career is done.
Now let's say I go to Waterloo, and learn some finance and some computer science. I do coop and gain 2 years of pratical experience in the finance industry before I graduate. I also pay for my own schooling through coop. I know on-campus recruiting sucks for waterloo, so I land a less stellar job for the two interim years after graduating and before MBA (working towards my CFA designation, so I don't waste time). Then I go to Havard MBA, and get all the best Wall Street Jobs anyways. The difference here is, I now know computer science. So I have a backup career. If ibanking or PE doesn't work out, or I burn out after 10 years of trading, I can get a phD in computer science and head back to Wall Street as a quant. And quants make a respectable salary.
My point is, studying business in undergrad is a bit waste. Harvard, Yale, and Princeton don't even have an undergrad business school. Save the business and the soft skills for the MBA. Learn something useful, practical, and technical in undergrad. To be honest, very few people get far in life with just soft skills.
Btw, Wall Street and MBA schools love math/physics/computer science grads.



There are some problems with this. Getting into HBS is going to be hard if you have a bad job out of undergrad. It's VERY hard to get into PE out of an MBA program unless you have pre-MBA PE experience, which you probably won't have coming from Waterloo. HYP might not have undergrad business schools, but fewer and fewer Wharton students are going back to get their MBAs because they already have the technical skills they need. In the long run, the opportunity cost of an MBA can be huge.

Let's also be realistic about "backup jobs". People in the middle of their career generally don't change trajectories in the way you're describing. Bankers are more likely to go into corp dev or something similar. In fact, it's probably more realistic that people leave the industry entirely and do something entrepreneurial or go into non-profit or whatever the case may be. For some reason, going back to do a PhD (which takes forever anyway) and becoming a quant in the same industry seems pointless and unlikely.

It's also arguable that people don't get far in life with just soft skills. The most easily replaceable jobs are quantitative, unless you're absolutely brilliant. You can hire someone in India to code for you, but someone with connections is irreplaceable.

Like, if you were arguing that knowing CS would be beneficial because you want to go into trading, I would totally agree with you. There are a lot of firms that value highly quantitative backgrounds. Having it as a "backup" for banking though is not a good idea.

Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of immaculatedx immaculatedx
Good stuff Illuminar.
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of tobywashere tobywashere
Yeah you guys are pretty right. At least I also applied to Ivey and Commerce. Those two programs are the best ways to get a job on wall or bay street.
@ exhibit: I got Math 800 / CR 780 / Writing 660. But you're mistaken because Harvard MBA doesn't look at your SAT. They look at your GMAT and GPA. Harvard, Yale, and Princeton don't have an undergraduate business school.
Also, Harvard Business School has a new program called 2+2. You apply during your third year of university. They don't expect you to have any work experience. You can still get your MBA.
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of JSH10 JSH10
K first off, K.... thanks for informing us of your choice.... Yes Waterloo is great, and so is H/Y/P...
what makes you think you will get a high enough GPA at Waterloo.
If I were you, I would take the harsh but wise words that the gracious people of WSO have provided.....

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/why-i-chose-waterloo-over-ivey-or-queens

and yea that one dude was right.. You lost credibility when you said "If IBanking doesn't work out, I'll switch to doing IT in the finance industry."
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of tobywashere tobywashere
@JSH10: there are plenty of IT professionals working for investment banks. Financial institutions are heavily dependent on IT. I did my homework.

@immaculatedx: What do you mean hard skills are important especially if you are second-gen? Cause I am
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
This post was deleted

 
This post was deleted

 
A photo of exhibit exhibit

@tobywashere wrote
@ exhibit: I got Math 800 / CR 780 / Writing 660. But you're mistaken because Harvard MBA doesn't look at your SAT. They look at your GMAT and GPA. Harvard, Yale, and Princeton don't have an undergraduate business school.
Also, Harvard Business School has a new program called 2+2. You apply during your third year of university. They don't expect you to have any work experience. You can still get your MBA.


Mistaken on what grounds? I just wanted to know your scores to see if you had any chance at HYP, Penn, and Dartmouth for undergrad. As expected your writing is subpar.

Thanks for telling me that graduate b-schools look at your GMAT and GPA, genius... sheesh. Lol. Aren't you the enlightened one. No undergrad business at HYP? Orly?

IT people don't get into HBS, be realistic. It's second most selective b-school. They can do better than that.

I'm not trying to be an bleep but you're arrogant and annoying and you seem to think your plans are infallible when they're actually pretty stupid, as everyone has pointed out...
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
This post was deleted

 
A photo of imsyed imsyed
Well I think this is a great discussion and will help out most of the guys around here who plan to do their MBAs form an ivy league univ in the future.
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of g93 g93
On the general topic, how big of a difference would it make getting a MBA from an ivy-league school?

I haven't put a ton of thought into it, but have always wanted my MBA, and would porbably do it at an Ontario University like Laurier, Schulich or Ivey.

But (if I could get in), would getting an MBA from an ivy-league school be beneficial to me in the long run (would be more expensive than an Ontario uni)?


Also, I see Queen's has a Queen's-Cornell Executive MBA offered jointly between Queen's and Cornell. Does anyone know anything about this program? Is it any good? My knowledge of ivy-league stuff is a little lacking.
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of tobywashere tobywashere
Nevermind about Ibanking. If I go into sales and trading, my plan makes sense. Waterloo is heavily recruited for S&T.
@g93: Getting an MBA from an ivy league school makes all the difference in the world. Let's face it, you don't actually learn anything in MBA. MBA is just a two year social club where you make business connections. For MBAs, image is everything and the Ivy League gives you that. The people at Ivy B-schools also tend to be very well-connected. I'm looking at Stanford, Harvad, and Penn.
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of g93 g93

@tobywashere wrote
@g93: Getting an MBA from an ivy league school makes all the difference in the world. Let's face it, you don't actually learn anything in MBA. MBA is just a two year social club where you make business connections. For MBAs, image is everything and the Ivy League gives you that. The people at Ivy B-schools also tend to be very well-connected. I'm looking at Stanford, Harvad, and Penn.

hanks for the reply.

So the difference in salary and ability to get jobs would be easily worth paying the extra money to go to an ivey-league school?

And what would my marks realistically have to be coming from Laurier BBA or Waterloo AFM? And what else would they consider?
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of exhibit exhibit
Grades don’t matter that much but higher is better obviously. Get 3.5+ and work at a white shoe firm after graduation. The average GPA at top business schools is around 3.6 or so. Getting a 4.0 won’t matter if you have a bad job.

Don’t obsess about the Ivy League. Just go for quality b-schools. Don't assume that an MBA program is good and well-respected just because the overall university is.
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of g93 g93

@exhibit wrote
Grades don’t matter that much but higher is better obviously. Get 3.5+ and work at a white shoe firm after graduation. The average GPA at top business schools is around 3.6 or so. Getting a 4.0 won’t matter if you have a bad job.

Don’t obsess about the Ivy League. Just go for quality b-schools. Don't assume that an MBA program is good and well-respected just because the overall university is.

o work experience would play a bigger role than marks?
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of imsyed imsyed
^ that is the general idea Once u cross the 3.6 - 3.7 mark.
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of JSH10 JSH10
lol Waterloo is heavily recruited for S&T yes, but for the engineering, double degree, compsci, and math programs. Just read through the Waterloo S&T thread on WSO... everything is explained there...
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of Anonymous Anonymous

@imsyed wrote
^ that is the general idea Once u cross the 3.6 - 3.7 mark.



are you guys saying that a 3.6 GPA can get you into an Ivy League MBA program? Really?
Was this helpful? Yes 0

 
A photo of g93 g93

@brian524 wrote

@imsyed wrote
^ that is the general idea Once u cross the 3.6 - 3.7 mark.



are you guys saying that a 3.6 GPA can get you into an Ivy League MBA program? Really?


What mark would get you in then? I have no clue, I was the one who asked originally.
Was this helpful? Yes 0